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Microsoft's Edge browser to auto-pause Flash content

Ads and animations built with Flash won't fire up on their own. You'll have to explicitly click to play them.

Microsoft Edge to Flash: Hold your horses.

James Martin/CNET

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary update will include some Edge browser changes beyond the addition of extensions.

One of the biggest and potentially quite welcome changes will be how Edge handles Flash content, which many users find intrusive and a drain on their computer's performance.

In a blog post Thursday, the Edge team explained that users will get more control over Flash content with the midyear update to Edge.

"Microsoft Edge will intelligently auto-pause content that is not central to the web page," wrote John Hazen, principal program manager lead for Microsoft Edge. "Peripheral content like animations or advertisements built with Flash will be displayed in a paused state unless the user explicitly clicks to play that content."

That setting will significantly reduce power consumption and improve performance, even as it keeps the page otherwise intact, Hazen said. Flash content that's central to the page, such as video and games, will not be paused.

Microsoft's ultimate goal remains to get developers and users to transition away from Flash toward newer open Web standards like RTC, Web Audio and Canvas, Microsoft said. Over time, Microsoft plans to add further user controls for Flash.

"We are planning for and look forward to a future where Flash is no longer necessary as a default experience in Microsoft Edge," Hazen said.

Microsoft's Anniversary update, also known as Redstone 1, is expected to be available to existing Windows 10 users as a free update this summer.

As noted earlier this week, Microsoft is adding support for more extensions for its Edge browser to the latest preview version of Windows 10 Anniversary update. In Build 14316, Microsoft is including support for Pinterest and OneNote Clipper extensions, along with the already announced Reddit Enhancement Suite, Mouse Gestures and Microsoft Translator.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet under the headline "Microsoft to change how Windows 10's Edge browser handles Flash content."